Remember semitruck safety this holiday season

As the need for goods increases due to holiday shopping, more semitrucks will venture out on the roads. Being prepared to drive near these large and heavy vehicles is imperative for all drivers. Because the risks are so great, drivers should take a few minutes to brush up on some basic facts about semitrucks.

Semitrucks make up 4 percent of vehicles on the road, but they account for 9 percent of crash fatalities. This disproportionate rate shows just how deadly these large vehicles can be.

Another thing to know is that semitrucks take much longer to stop. If a truck is moving at 55 miles per hour, it will take around 450 feet to stop if the brakes are hot from prolonged usage. If the brakes aren't overheated, it can still take 190 to 200 feet for the rig to stop. This is a huge increase over the 130 to 140 feet that it takes a regular vehicle to come to a stop from the same speed.

These big rigs also need ample clearance to turn. Oftentimes, the trucker will have to veer left to turn right. Don't mistake this an invitation to try to drive on the right side of the vehicle.

Semitrucks also have large blind spots in front, on both sides and behind hem. The trucker can't see your vehicle if you are in these blind spots, so make sure to get out of them quickly if you have to drive in one.

Sadly, semitrucks will be involved in crashes this holiday season. The victims of these crashes might decide to seek compensation from the trucker, trucking company, insurance companies or other parties that might hold some share of the liability.

Source: Stop Unsafe Trucks, "The Facts and Statistics," accessed Nov. 17, 2017

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